Kittel claims back-to-back stage wins


Marcel Kittel made it back-to-back wins as he sprinted across the finish line to triumph in stage three of the Giro d'Italia.

Just as he did on Saturday, Kittel spent the majority of the race within the peloton before seizing his chance in the final moments of the 190-kilometre ride from Nijmegen to Arnhem.

An early breakaway was eventually swallowed up towards the end of the second of two 14km circuits to close out the race, with Etixx-QuickStep positioning themselves well to guide the German across the line.

With another 10-second bonus in the bag, Kittel will sport the pink jersey for the next stage having replaced Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin at the top of the general classification.

Maarten Tjallingii was once again involved in the initial breakaway and was joined in the attack by Giacomo Berlato (Nippo - Vini Fantini), Julen Amezqueta (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) and Johann van Zyl (Dimension Data).

After 32km their advantage over the the peloton exceeded eight minutes, but it gradually ebbed away as the four riders were faced with high cross-winds.

Jean-Christophe Peraud was caught up in a crash with an AG2R La Mondiale team-mate which resulted in his exit from the race, while Tjallingii took the blue jersey from Omar Fraile after leading the only climb.

Van Zyl launched a solo attack on the final circuit, but was caught shortly ahead of the last kilometre, where a team effort sent Kittel through first.

The 27-year-old edged out Italian duo Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) with his explosive acceleration to secure a 13th stage win at a grand tour event.

The Giro now heads to Italy, with stage four beginning in Catanzaro on Tuesday.